modular board

Fantasy Flight has announced a new expansion for the third edition of Arkham Horror, Dead of Night. According to Fantasy Flight’s website, this expansion features “two all-new scenarios, new encounters for every location in Arkham, new monsters and anomalies, a new monster deck holder, and four new investigators to face these fresh horrors, armed with new spells, items, and allies.”

In the first of the new scenarios, Shots in the Dark, the investigators are tasked with trying to bring peace to Arkham by getting the O’Bannion and Sheldon gangs to cease firing at each other and all the while investigate the underpinnings of why the gangs are at each other’s throats again.

The second of the new scenarios, On the Lam, concentrates on the character of Skids O’Toole, a down on his luck ex-con who has vowed to make his mother proud by finding ways to keep Arkham safe and protect it from the unknown.

More information on the new expansion is available here.

One might not be able to tell from the consistent popularity of Scythe that it was ever in need of anything new, but Stonemaier Games has made it a habit of offering new gameplay experiences to Scythe fans. First it was Invaders from Afar, which gave fans two new factions. Then it was The Wind Gambit, which gave fans Airships and the Resolution module. The Rise of Fenris brought fans an 8-game replayable campaign and 11 interchangeable modules.  The latest addition to the popular game is a Modular Board.  This is not the first time Stonemaier has offered a different gameboard experience.  The original gameboard is two sided, one side with the full game board map and the other side consisting of a portion of an enlarged gameboard that could be completed with a gameboard extension for a 70% larger gameboard. The enlarged gameboard did not change gameplay though.  The new modular board for Scythe, on the other hand, does.  The Scythe modular board adds a new level of variability to Scythe.  The map is different on both sides and has spaces for 4 big double-sided tiles that change the landscape each game.  Even the faction home base locations can change each game. No longer must the Nordic faction start in the north, or the Saxony faction start in the corner without easy access to the wheat fields that both neighboring factions have. Faction location and landscape can vary every game. No longer can faction strategy count on the consistent landscape around their home base.  Additionally, the modular board adds a drafting element to setup, along with a variant for a tighter map at low player counts.

The Scythe Modular Board comes with 1 double-sided board (624x818mm, same size as the standard Scythe board), 4 double-sided tiles (7 hexes per tile), 8 home base tiles, 8 structure bonus tiles, 1 rulebook (11 languages), and Automa rules for solo play.  Pre-orders from Stonemaier open on May 29, or look for the Scythe Modular Board at your friendly local game store late this summer.

crazy carts

Although there are many cooperative games, free for all games, and one vs many games, there seems to be a dearth of team games. So any team-based game is bound to pique your interest. Portal Games has announced a fast-paced racing game for teams of two called Crazy Karts. In Crazy Carts, each pair has to coordinate actions without communicating with each other. Players will use cards to secretly assign actions (acceleration, brake, turn, shoot). There will be four unique factions plus a Lone Wolf faction (for a single player team), so it can also accommodate an odd number of players. See the full press release below for more information.

Gliwice, Poland – March 16, 2016. Today, Portal Games announced Crazy Karts from designer Charles-Amir Perret. Crazy Karts is a fast-paced racing game for teams of two in which each player controls specific actions of their kart, but they cannot communicate with their teammate. One player controls the brakes and turns, while the other player speeds up and fires the cannon. Teams must out maneuver their opponents, dodge obstacles, grab power-ups, and avoid smashing into the walls, all without talking!

In Crazy Karts, teams of two pair off to race to the finish line and must coordinate their actions without communicating. Each round, players draw cards from their team deck and assign them to the various actions on the cart: accelerate, brake, turn, and shoot. Each player is in charge of only two of these actions and the cards they assign to their actions are not know to their teammate. After all cards have been played, actions are revealed and executed. If they coordinated their actions, they may advance down the track. If not, however, they may end their turn in disaster by crashing into obstacles, walls, or other karts!

Like most Portal Games titles, Crazy Karts includes 4 unique factions for teams to choose from, each with their own unique power. If you are playing with an odd number of players, there is also the Lone Wolf faction which allows a single player to compete with a unique set of skills and disadvantages.

“Each year we receive more than 50 prototypes. Some of them are bad. Some are soso. Some are good, but not good enough. Sometimes though, we receive something extraordinary. Like the prototype of Legacy: testament of duke de Crecy. Like the prototype of Tides of Time. Like the prototype of Crazy Karts; a game that is unique, original and extremely fun to play. Finding such a gem is one of the most exciting moments in my job,” said Portal Games CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek. “I vividly remember my first game of Legacy, my first game of Tides of Time and with no doubt, for years I will remember the afternoon when we played the prototype of Crazy Karts for the first time. We looked at each other, we smiled and we all – all people at the table – knew that we have something special here.”

Crazy Karts is for 3 to 8 players, ages 8 or older and takes approximately 45 minutes to play. The game includes 72 cards, 5 double sided track boards, 9 player boards, 4 power tracks, 4 speedometers, 4 player screens, 63 tiles, 4 wooden cart tokens with stickers, and a rulebook. Crazy Karts will be released at Origins 2016 in June and will be available worldwide at the same time. MSRP will be announced at later date. For more information, you can visit the Crazy Karts page on our website at http://portalgames.pl/new_en/all-game-list/crazy-karts/

About Portal Games
Portal Games is a publisher of award-winning games such as Imperial Settlers, Stronghold, Tides of Time, Legacy, and Neuroshima Hex. Founded in Poland in 1999, Portal Games has developed into one of the most renowned European game publishers and design teams. Their commitment is to produce only the highest quality Board Games That Tell Stories.

Something is stirring in the Alaskan wilderness. Waves of freezing ice and terrible hunger roll across the land. The Ancient Ones have returned!

Omens of Ice is the latest expansion for Fantasy Flight’s cooperative horror dice game, Elder Sign, in which players must protect their sanity as they race to discover the eldritch symbols that they need to seal the Ancient Ones out of our world. In this expansion, players will embark on an Alaskan Expedition, with a whole new adventure deck, searching the wild places for clues about the source of these strange disturbances. Danger appears at all sides, from terrifying beasts to icy storms and freezing temperatures, all tearing at your sanity and your all-important supplies.

The expansion also includes a new Alaskan Mythos deck, new investigators, and two difficulty levels for your expedition – the relative calm and warmth of Summer, or the dark, foreboding, unforgiving winter.

Look for the Omens before the snows melt and the ice thaws! You can find it in your friendly local game store some time in the first quarter of 2016.

Read the full announcement here.

simurgh banner

Do you like owning unique dragons and worker placement games? Simurgh, from NSKN games and designer Pierlucca Zizzi, fits the bill and as of writing this is still available on Kickstarter. Having already met it’s funding goal and receiving positive reviews from many sources, this dragon-taming adventure feels ready to hit any respectable gaming shelf.

The game borrows many ideas and mechanisms from worker placement’s past but certainly combines them in such a manner to keep it unique and differentiate it from it’s forefathers. Fans of Manhattan Project will enjoy seeing the ability to recall workers as easily as putting them onto the board, while veterans of Lords of Waterdeep will admire the fantasy feel and the ability to pick-and-choose worker placement options as you could with the buildings from that title. While resource management is a staple in the worker placement genre, Simurgh adds a bit of a curve with it’s prolific and majestic dragons. Each dragon is unique in artwork and effect, and takes their own resource (dragon tokens) to boost your resource management as a free action, giving players a much welcome sense of flexibility and power.

There is no such thing as fawning too much over the dragon artwork. Seriously, go to the Kickstarter page and check out those bad boys! The game has certainly been previewed extensively ever since Essen 2015, with our own Tom Vasel  providing a video review complete with the Dice Tower seal of approval! It’s growing fan-base has already managed to not only make it’s funding goal, but almost triple it as of this publication. NSKN games is not only campaigning for a rich base  game either, but also an expansion – “Call of the Dragonlord” – in this campaign as well. As described on the Kickstarter page:

Simurgh: Call of the Dragonlord is a premium expansion telling the next chapter of the history of the White City. Adding new tiles, a new board and the Wizard – a new Vassal that brings his powerful magic into the epic struggle of White City’s factions.

Resource management, modular worker placement options, and stunning dragon artwork really makes Simurgh an incredible package. If interested, there’s still 8 days left to back it and grab yourself or a friend a copy.

simurgh comp

fates fortune

Everything Epic Games is returning to Kickstarter to bring you the 2nd printing of their recently released thematic cooperative game Secrets of the Lost Tomb, as well as Fate’s Fortune, the newest expansion for the game.

Secrets of the Lost Tomb is a Cooperative, story-driven tile placement game, that plays in about 60 minutes, for 1-6 adventurers who have embarked upon a perilous expedition to uncover the ancient secrets of the Tomb. Each game is built around a different scenario with its own unique boss monster, such as the Pharaoh with the Blue Eyes, the Immortal Rhaz Azul or the Elder Forces of Hera’Thulhu. Over the course of the game, you and your fellow expedition members will explore ancient sites around the world, from the crypts of the Mayans to the ruins of Greece and the beautiful temples of the Orient; fight monstrous beasts; gather powerful relics and above all prepare yourselves to ward off the inevitable awakening of the Primordial Evil.

fate cards

The Fate’s Fortune expansion introduces the eponymous Fate cards which will send each character on their own secret quest that will allow them to level up during the game (and will also unleash new furies from within the tomb). Using these secret Fate cards, players can also now choose to include the possibility of a Traitor in the game, rather than playing purely cooperatively. The expansion will also add new characters, new scenarios and new monsters to this already jam-packed game.

So dust off your fedora and discover the full campaign here!

endure the staras

Genetically Engineered Planetary Explorer Candidates, or GEPs for short, are creatures that were grown to be a custom designed race […] The Hikari was 12 months into it’s G.E.P.E.C program when one of the larger creatures, project name Titan, escaped and killed 37 civilians.

If you like cooperative games and sci-fi, then Endure the Stars might be the new game for you. Now on Kickstarter, Endure the Stars is a 1-5 player cooperative dungeon-crawling game set on the ruined spaceship Hikari. Scientists were attempting to genetically engineer life forms (GEPs), but now the GEPs are trying to destroy everyone on board the ship.

In the game, players will choose from 5 classes: Captain, Medic, Psychic, Marine, and Engineer. Players can spend actions to move, attack, search for items/weapons, and use special abilities. They work together and try not to make too much noise, or they’ll attract the GEPs, which are controlled by the game. This makes it a fully cooperative dungeon crawl type game!

With a modular board and different missions and campaigns, there should be a lot of replayability. Also, the game comes with a bunch of pretty neat looking miniatures, and the theme looks pretty immersive.

To read more about Endure the Stars, check out the Kickstarter page here.

hired guns preview

Fantasy Flight is offering us all a preview of the newest expansion pack for their wildly popular tactical combat/campaign game Star Wars: Imperial Assault. The Hired Guns Villain Pack introduces two new characters (with miniatures) to the game, specifically, the Hired Guns. These are low cost, front-line grunts who are relatively easy to kill, but they can strike at range, use surges to increase their accuracy, deal extra damage or pierce enemy armor and they get a free attack when they’re killed. For a slightly higher cost in points, you can also use the Elite Hired Guns, who are more accurate and harder to kill.

The pack also includes several new missions, such as a mission to stop the creation of an alliance between the Empire and the many mercenaries of the galaxy or a mission which allows the Imperials to win simply by wounding all of the Heroes on the board.

New Agenda cards allow you to grant other non-unique figures a Parting Shot ability just like the Hired Guns have, or to discard Supply cards that Heroes have drawn by interacting with a crate. The Last Resort Skirmish Upgrade (for a cost of only 1 point) will allow you to cause even more damage to your enemies when your figures are destroyed.

And finally, the pack also includes new Command cards that may allow you to boost a Smuggler character at an opportune moment, escape from an enemy Melee character at the last minute or even lower the point value of one of your non-unique battle groups that was just destroyed.

Be sure to check out the full preview here.

spirit island

Dark clouds are on the horizon. Invaders spread like locusts across the unspoiled wilderness. Nature itself recoils. Can the Spirits stem the tide of settlement?

Published by Greater Than Games – makers of the popular superhero coop game Sentinels of the Multiverse – Spirit Island is a new cooperative game about nature spirits defending their island home from ravenous colonial invaders. Each player takes the role of a different Spirit with access to different powers that will help the Dahan – the local inhabitants – drive away the outsiders for good. Spread your presence around the island, choose carefully when to reclaim already used powers and when to seek out new powers, and do your best to stop the corruption and blight of the invader towns before it’s too late!

spirit island comp

The game plays 1-4 people in 90 to 120 minutes, comes with 8 different playable spirits (plus a 9th kickstarter exclusive spirit) and 2 different groups of specialized invaders for advanced play.

Check out the full campaign here.

damage report

Kickstarter veteran Break From Reality games is back to bring you the first expansion for their succesful 2014 campaign Damage Report – a scenario driven, real time cooperative game of disaster prevention and spaceship repair that plays 2-6 players in around 45 minutes

Expansion Scenarios

Expansion Scenarios

Damage Report: On Fire introduces several new scenarios, including 2 semi-cooperative scenarios, new tools such as the stun wand and the fire extinguisher, and, of course, FIRE! A new fire mechanic will spread flames all around the ship while you desperately try to bring the ship under control.

Take a look at the full campaign here.